8 Steps to Fix Error 0x80070020 with Windows Update

Sometimes, while updating your Windows installation, you might get the “Error 0x80070020” while going through the downloading process. In this article, we have listed out all the different causes behind this issue and have also listed in detail, their solutions.

Error 0x80070020
Error 0x80070020

Why are you getting the “Error 0x80070020” while installing Updates?

Generally, with update errors, you can expect the issue to be with a glitch or misconfiguration in your settings. However, to pinpoint a few common triggers behind the issue, you can expect one of the following to be the reason behind the error.

  • Background Application Interference: While running the update installation service, if a background antivirus application or any other application for that matter interferes with the installation in any way such as writing on the disk or changing system files, the update will fail to run and you will get the Error 0x80070020 on your screen.
  • Glitched Out Update Components: In certain cases, we have seen that the update services that are responsible for the deployment of the Window Updates on your computer get glitched due to which you can run into issues during the installation process.
  • Disk Errors: On your hard drive, the space is divided into memory segments to effectively manage the storage. However, if the hard drive is old and has been around for a while, some of these sectors can get corrupted due to which, when Windows try to install updates and use these sectors, the error can be triggered.

Now that you have gotten familiarized with most of the possible reasons behind the occurrence of the issue, you can go through the step-by-step guide that we have listed below.

Fixing the Error 0x80070020 while Installing Updates:


Method 1: Run a Clean Boot

In a clean boot state, you disable all the background services that are run by third-party applications or even the operating system’s own services that aren’t entirely necessary for basic tasks. In this state, you can verify if any service or process was interfering with the running of your computer. To put the computer in a clean boot state:

  1. Press the “Windows + R” keys from your keyboard to start the Run prompt, in this prompt, type in “msconfig” and press “Enter” to launch into the Microsoft configuration panel.
    Typing in "msconfig" in the Run prompt
    Typing in “msconfig” in the Run prompt
  2. From there, click on the “services” tab that is displayed at the top and then uncheck the “Hide all Microsoft Services” option.
    Unchecking the "Hide all Microsoft Services" option
    Unchecking the “Hide all Microsoft Services” option
  3. After unchecking this, select the “Disable All” button which will disable the services from running automatically at startup.
  4. Now that we have disabled the background services, we should also disable some of the background applications that run automatically. For that, click on the “Startup” tab and then select the “Open Task Manager” button.
    Clicking on the "Open Task Manager" button to fix Error 0x80070020
    Clicking on the “Open Task Manager” button
  5. Once in the task manager, right-click on the applications that are “Enabled” on startup and select the “Disable” button.
  6. Once you do this for all the enabled applications, restart your computer and try to update it.
  7. If the update is successful, you can undo all the changes that we did in the previous steps and go about your day.
  8. However, if you are still facing Error 0x80070020 while updating, you can move on to the next step.

Method 2: Restart Windows Update Components

Using some commands, we can completely reset the Windows Update components. In doing so, we can resolve any glitches or misconfigurations that might have happened while they were running. To do that:

  1. Press the “Windows + R” keys from your keyboard and type in “cmd” in the Run prompt.
    Typing in "cmd" in the dialogue box
    Typing in “cmd” in the dialogue box
  2. To open the command console in Admin mode, press “Shift + CTRL + Enter” from the keyboard.
  3. Once launched, type in the following commands one by one and press “Enter” after each to execute them.
    net stop wuauserv 
    net stop cryptSvc
    net stop bits
    net stop msiserver
    Executing the service stopping commands in command prompt to fix Error 0x80070020
    Executing the service-stopping commands in the command prompt
  4. What the above commands do is that they stop the Windows Update, BITS, Cryptographic, and MSI Installer services from running on your computer.
  5. After stopping these services, we need to rename the folders in which the update components usually store their data. Once renamed they will create new folders which would initialize a new download that can fix corruption issues. To do that:
    ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
  6. After executing the commands listed above, you are ready to start the services back up. Which will mean that they will initialize new downloads and clear out the cache. For that:
    net start wuauserv 
    net start cryptSvc
    net start bits
    net start msiserver
  7. Close out of the command prompt, try to initialize the Windows Update and the Error 0x80070020 should now be fixed.

Method 3: Troubleshoot Windows Update Service

Windows comes built-in with a  troubleshooting tool that can run certain scripts on your device to fix issues related to the operating system’s normal functioning. We can run that troubleshooter and check if that fixes the issue that we are facing. To run the troubleshooter:

  1. Press “Windows + I” on your keyboard to start the settings.
  2. On Windows 10, select the “Update & Security>Troubleshoot” button, and on Windows 11, select the “System>Troubleshoot” option.
    Selecting the "Troubleshoot" option
    Selecting the “Troubleshoot” option
  3. After selecting the options, click on the “Windows Update” dropdown and then select the “Run” button to start the troubleshooting.
    Note: On Windows 11, you might have to select “Other Troubleshooters” and find Windows Update from there.
  4. Once the troubleshooting finishes, check to see if the Error 0x80070020 is fixed on your computer.

Method 4: Run DISM, SFC, and CHKDSK Scans

Typically, on your computer, you can run certain scans from time to time to make sure that there aren’t any glitches in your registry entries, with your drivers, or on your Hard Disk storage sectors. To repair any such issues, you can run three types of scans, the DISM scan, the SFC Scan, and the CHKDSK Scan. To run them:

  1. Press “Windows + R” to start the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “cmd”, and press “Shift + CTRL + Enter” to start with admin privileges.
    Typing in "cmd" in the dialogue box
    Typing in “cmd” in the dialogue box
  3. Once you are in the command prompt, type in the following commands and then press “Enter” after each to run them on your computer.
    sfc /scannow
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    chkdsk C: /f
  4. Make sure to replace “C” in the last command with the letter of the drive on which Windows is installed on your computer.
  5. Now that you have finished running these scans, the Error 0x80070020 should be fixed.

Method 5: Disable Antivirus and Firewall

In these steps, we will be showing you how to disable the inbuild Antivirus and Firewall that comes installed with Windows, make sure to replicate the steps for any other antivirus that might have been installed on your system. To continue:

  1. Press “Windows + I” to launch into the settings, and click on the “Update & Security > Windows Security” options.
  2. On Windows 11, the options would be “Privacy & Security > Open Windows Security“.
  3. Click on the “Virus & Threat Protection” button from the left and then select the “Manage Settings” button under the “Virus & Threat Protection Settings” option.
  4. In the next screen, make sure to turn off the “Real-Time Protection“, “Cloud-Delivered Protection“, and “Automatic sample Submission” toggles.
    Turning off "Virus & Threat Protection" settings to fix Error 0x80070020
    Turning off the “Virus & Threat Protection” settings
  5. Now, from the left, select the “Firewall & Network Protection” button.
  6. Click on the “Domain Network” heading and turn off the “Microsoft Defender Firewall” toggle.
  7. Go back to the previous screen and do the same for the “Private Network” and the “Public Network” options.
  8. Now that we have disabled both the Firewall and the Microsoft Defender Antivirus, you can try to install the updates and verify that the Error 0x80070020 is fixed.

Remember to disable Real-Time protection on any other Antivirus that you might have installed.

Method 6: Configuring Update Services to Start Automatically

There have been cases where the services responsible for installing the updates were prevented from running automatically at startup. To make sure that is not the case with you, you can run the following commands to ensure that the services are set up to automatically start on startup.

  1. Press “Windows + R” to start the Run prompt, type in “cmd” and press “Shift + CTRL + Enter” to start with admin privileges.
    Typing in "cmd" in the dialogue box
    Typing in “cmd” in the dialogue box
  2. In the command prompt, type in the following commands one by one and press “Enter” after each.
    SC config wuauserv start= auto
    SC config bits start= auto
    SC config cryptsvc start= auto
    SC config trustedinstaller start= auto
  3. Check to see if this fixes your issue.

Method 7: Run a “.Bat” file

If all the other fixes have failed to run on your computer, you can try to implement the following to run a “.Bat” file to run a series of commands related to Windows Update Service. For that:

  1. Copy and paste the following command inside the notepad application on your computer.
    net stop bits
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop appidsvc
    net stop cryptsvc
    Del "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\*.*"
    rmdir %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution /S /Q
    rmdir %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 /S /Q
    cd /d %windir%\system32
    regsvr32.exe /s atl.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s urlmon.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s mshtml.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s shdocvw.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s browseui.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s jscript.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s vbscript.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s scrrun.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s msxml.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s msxml3.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s msxml6.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s actxprxy.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s softpub.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wintrust.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s dssenh.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s rsaenh.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s gpkcsp.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s sccbase.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s slbcsp.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s cryptdlg.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s oleaut32.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s ole32.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s shell32.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s initpki.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuapi.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuaueng.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuaueng1.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wucltui.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wups.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wups2.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuweb.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s qmgr.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s qmgrprxy.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wucltux.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s muweb.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuwebv.dll
    netsh winsock reset
    netsh winsock reset proxy
    net start bits
    net start wuauserv
    net start appidsvc
    net start cryptsvc
  2. After you have pasted these in a notepad file, click on the “File > Save As” button.
  3. Click on the “All Files” option from the “Save as Type:” dropdown.
  4. Name the file “Updatefix.bat” and click on the “Save” button.
    Saving the file as ".bat"
    Saving the file as “.bat”
  5. Navigate to the location where you saved the file and double-click on the file to run it.
  6. Check to see if doing so has fixed the issue.

Method 8: Install Update Manually

The Windows Media Creation Tool is an external tool that you can download from Microsoft’s website which allows you to create installation media for external installation but it also allows you to upgrade your current installation. You only have to run the setup and select the “Upgrade this PC Now” option to start the upgrade process.

The steps that we have listed should allow you to update your computer without any issues. However, if you are still facing the error, you can contact us for further assistance.

Burt Macklin

A man of Technology geared towards providing solutions to the most annoying errors that occur while using your favorite apps or hardware.

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